When A Peaceful Mind Eludes Me

A particularly long and difficult day had passed, and as night approached I was thankful to be able to lay down and rest…

Yet, sleep eluded me.

For my mind refused to be quiet and rest.

My mind that night was like a truck stuck in slippery mire, spinning its wheels with every ounce of energy…

And getting absolutely nowhere.

I tried to focus my mind on God and His promises…particularly the one from Isaiah 26:3 which says, “You will keep him in perfect peace whose mind is stayed on you, because he trusts in you.”

I prayed, asking God to keep me in His peace as I kept my mind on Him.

But, you know what?

Sleep still didn’t come.

Have you ever had nights like that?  Nights where in spite of best intentions to trust God and best efforts to keep your mind focused on Him and His promises…

It just doesn’t happen.

There seems to be some back door that worried thoughts find a way in…or a crack in some dark recesses that fear creeps in.

Sometimes it isn’t even worry and fear that keeps my mind from rest.  There are times when it is a legitimate problem that needs a solution, and so in my mind I travel down a multitude of avenues trying to figure out the right answer.

Or…

I imagine possible scenarios that might take place and what I should do if such and such an event happens…

Regardless of which one of these is taking place in my mind…

The result is the same.

My mind is definitely not in perfect peace!

I remember that night when sleep was so elusive…I had been doing battle trying to call to mind Bible verses…singing hymns…trying to keep my mind’s eye focused upwards…

But I couldn’t keep my mind focused on the Lord.  It kept on drifting to the problems, scenarios, fears and anxious thoughts.

Finally, as dawn was beginning to approach, I cried out to God and asked Him to keep my mind fixed on Him.

I couldn’t do it.

And you know what?

As His strength garrisoned my mind, His perfect peace flooded my mind and brought a stillness to the storm of questions, the “what-ifs”, the worries, the fears, and scenarios that had been wreaking havoc in my mind…

And I slept…

At rest…

In peace…

In His perfect peace.

I have not forgotten the lesson that I learned that night.  While I know that God will always be faithful to keep His promises and I trust that He will, there are times when I forget to ask Him to strengthen me so that I can carry out that which He asks me to do.

In this case, His perfect peace is promised to those whose mind is stayed or fixed on Him…

But what happens when my best efforts and intentions fall far short and I can’t keep my mind fixed on Him?

I can tell you what happens…

My mind is not at peace.

But when I humbly come to Him and say, “God, I need your help.  I can’t do this.  Please help me.  Please strengthen me with Your strength…”

Wow!

The difference between my strength and His strength is night and day difference.  Those things in my mind which refused to be quiet are stilled as my mind is strengthened with His strength so that it can remain fixed on Him…

And be kept in His perfect peace.

Peace